HP 4955A in Good Shape-- HPIB Interface for storing Basic Programs to a Modern Machine, possibly using HPDrive software over HPIB?


Greetings, all:

I recently picked up an HP 4955A Protocol Analyzer. Although my bench is stacked with HP vintage test equipment in daily use, this is my first fun foray into the world of pre-90's HP computing. I picked this up because it's apparently an HP9825 inside, and the one I have has the Basic option. It powers up with some errors, but upon plugging in one of the pods, the Basic interpreter runs fine. It's in very good shape, considering it was in a garage for who knows how long.

That being said, I'd like to use this to have some fun writing basic programs, and maybe use it to control some of my other HP-IB stuff floating around in here.

My standard concern is the Tape Drives that have been discussed elsewhere. The unit needs to have its tape drives rebuilt, and then there's the questions of media, and all the rest. There was another thread here about HP9825 mass storage options, and there was some question as to whether or not the HPDrive project works with this era of machine. Before I dive into trying to figure this out, I wonder if this is the Best Way to move forward with this. Even more, does HPDrive have a hope of working with this HP 4955A, which is apparently based on the 9825 internals, but a slightly different beast when it comes to programming and such?

I've got some of the original paper manuals, some of which are marked as "preliminary". I'd love to find the service manual for this as well, but my standard haunts at the BAMA archive and other places have revealed nothing for the service manual, aside from buying a million pounds of paper on Ebay. It's a lovely machine, and I'd like to clean it up, fix the failures that show up on startup, and possibly make some good use of this. It's a very satisfying machine, and the Basic it comes with is very.. Complete and intuitive. Would it be worth me buying an Ebay manual and scanning it into BAMA, or does someone know of a PDF copy that exists somewhere?

-Greg Linder

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